I’ve wanted to work with Asylum Seekers in Doncaster for some time, so when the Birdsong commissions came along it seemed like the perfect opportunity. It strikes me that the added trauma of a global pandemic to the situation of seeking asylum must be deeply unsettling. I know how therapeutic working in clay can be, how universal it is - literally being the ground beneath our feet that unites us all - and how it can release people to talk about their emotions.
The idea of the project is to deliver stand alone “Making Kits” (ie a mini workstation with tools and materials) to participants, accompanied by instructions on how to work with clay and ideas of what to make. All pieces will be hand sized. Participants will be asked to record their thoughts about the process in drawings, writings or recording. The pieces will then be fired in my studio and I will make work in response to their creations and recordings.
I hope to find a venue in Doncaster to exhibit the finished pieces and celebrate this global contribution to local culture.
I am very grateful to Denise Cann of the Doncaster Conversation Club for putting me in touch with enthusiastic participants.